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WeChat introduces 'Quiet Mode' to bring peace of mind to 27.8 million deaf users

WeChat is ubiquitous in China, used by over a billion people to chat with friends, check the news, watch videos, pay bills, share photos and shop. And much of that activity is accompanied by a whir of notification pings and other sounds.

After conducting in-depth interviews with 100 deaf people, WeChat discovered that many were worried their phones were disturbing others by making too much noise. In response, the company has introduced 'Quiet Mode', which will turn off all sounds made by the app.

WeChat introduced Quiet Mode on 19 June 2023. The new feature is part of a 'Caring Mode' suite of functions that also includes 'Listen to Text Message,' allowing people with low vision or low literacy to hear the content of a text message by clicking on it.

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While every phone has some way of turning down volume and silencing beeps, a deaf user won't notice if they've accidentally bumped the volume back up or a video starts playing with sound. By introducing Quiet Mode, WeChat helps bring peace of mind to China's 27.8 million people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The move highlights the critical role that user interviews play in identifying needs that may not be immediately apparent. Time to line up some deep-diving chats of your own and create an inclusive experience for all?

Innovation of the day